By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
A comeback Mary Lou Retton would have been proud of
Plus a ‘cheap plug’ for Saturday’s comedy show at MRPS Hall with America’s Got Talent as headliner
Frankie Souza and Alyce Machado-Luis ready for action

Thump…Thump…Thump go my eyeballs, brain, and core trying to recover from Saturday night's wedding. Rare are expectations met on such a satisfying scale – that all parties are consumed within the joy a newly wedded couple exude. The matrimony of Kevin Holtberg and the former Annalicia Luis nailed the landing like Mary Lou Retton in 1984 . . .

Perfect 10.

As a sidebar, I was met with personal pride watching the young Annalicia (of the House Machado Clan de Manteca) shine like she always does. This is a person raised under the roof of the M.R.P.S. Hall, and continually rises above and beyond in duty and scale. One of those special types – in fact, a child that at the age of 4 could carry adult conversations and had the manner of being present and looking you directly in the eye. It was an absolute pleasure to be part of a night in which everyone was spirited by not only the no-host bar at Viaggio Winery but the comforting sight of two massive families joining with such ease.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Holtberg!

Now to the meat and potatoes . . .

Full disclosure – I'm only penning this column to solicit a quick and cheap plug for Saturday night's comedy show at the M.R.P.S. Hall. Yes, it's a Father's Day show. Yes, the headliner Kabir Singh will be on tonight's episode of America's Got Talent. No, I cannot tell you if he advances. He does. Yes, you can walk up at 7 p.m. and buy a $15 ticket for the 8 p.m. show. No, I won't turn anyone away, as this is the M.R.P.S. Social Hall, and we've been having fun since 1919. Get off your tail and enjoy some laughs, music, and drinks.

Live like it was November of 2019, and you didn't have a care in the world.

Things are much different since that distant Fall . . .

But oh, how if you look, you'll see they've very much stayed the same.

I just finished a 7 day pre-irrigation corn run. For those not in the know, let me explain. Corn seed gets planted into an already dampened field, germinating and growing its first few weeks from the resulting pre-irrigation.

The reason: I can plant corn seed faster than I can send water down a 70-acre field. Doing it in the reverse will cause a field of non-uniformity — corn a few days ahead in the same field.

Or so the Portuguese powers that be who kept me on the clock 24/7 over an eight-day span will say.

But that span started with a moment so satisfying that I rode 'til my wheels fell off.

A visit to the local Walmart for provisions was in order. Apparently, several truckloads of Gatorade had spilled onto some interstate highway as the sale of this elixir was omnipresent on all fronts…

"$1 a bottle!"

My God, what a bargain, as I loaded my good boy cart. A new pack of socks were also in order as I knew my tootsies would surely be getting wet while tramping through freshly irrigated fields.

Peculiar is the fact that the socks and underwear section of Walmart is secured like Fort Knox. 

All I wanted was socks, and now it appears I will have to engage with another human. Ugh.

The employee had a heavy Mexican accent. One that in normal circumstance would have called for me to reach for my appreciable "I've grown up on a dairy" mixed vocabulary . . .

But I just wanted the socks and Gatorade so I hiked up my coverall pants legs and said, "Can I get some like these?"

She returned with friendly fire — "Which ones Senor?!"

I've mentioned on numerous occasions my colorblindness, it is the least recognized disability, and one I've prepped for…

"The grey one?"

Unbeknownst I was wearing 2 shades. 

It worked. So, we moved on with a cart full of Gatorade and supposedly grey socks.

Then my world changed. 

(I just realized how hungover I am from last night, so I will copy and paste the following excerpt from my Facebook page)

"Tales from Walmart

Today I saw that Gatorade was a $1 a bottle, so I loaded up — tractor treats.

But when I got into line there were two middle aged "Karen" types going on and on about "Who drinks Gatorade? (The sale was omnipresent) So much sodium. It's for little kids. NEVER. JUST NEVER."

The clerk chimed in – "I think the sodium is there to replenish after workouts or hot days . . ."

The "Karen" — "Oh please. A bunch of lazy husbands pretending Kool-Aid makes them athletic . .  .that stuff is poison."

I started filling the conveyor with my Gatorade bottles, until it was awkwardly noticed.

The other "Karen" – "We're sorry. To each their own."

Me — "Oh no big, these aren't for me. My little brother is in a wheelchair — he was in a bad car wreck and is an invalid . .  .but these seem to make him happy. He just loves 'em."

You could feel the air suck out of the room.

In my head I was arms aloft, preening to the crowd like my aforementioned Mary Lou Retton callback.

The silence was deafening, and tasted like a third brandy and coke at a Festa .  . .

The "Karens" had little to no response. Then me and my Gatorades spun around the parking lot like it was a meadow, and I was Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.


Be careful what you and your awful hairdos say in public, cause the colorblind take no prisoners!

See you at the MRPS this Saturday at 7. Kabir "Kabeezy" Singh will not let you down.